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Activision Inc
1988
Sport: Action
£7.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes

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87
Paul Sumner, Nick Roberts, Bym Welthy
Chris Bourne

Birmingham has lost its bid again, so on a planet far away from their original home the Olympic Games take a galactic turn.

Competitors face five awesome events: the 100-metre slither, space hockey, psychic judo, head-throwing and the metamorph marathon.

In the 100-metre slither, two racing worms get set to speedily slide along the track, bunching their bodies in caterpillar motion. Pressing keys in the right rhythm keeps the intrepid invertebrates inching ahead, and to speed things up and beat the 70-second time limit they can go into 'super slither'. But too much rubbing on the ground creates a fierce friction, so flame-retardant slime must be deployed.

Once the worms have slimed their thing, space hockey starts, and two spheres battle over a living puck in four contests each a minute long.

Psychic judo involves two mindbenders who attempt to destroy each other with energy bolts squeezed from their stomachs. An energy bolt can be directed to avoid the defensive shields your opponent erects - the shields not only keep bolts at bay but also absorb their energy, so they ' re worth building if you can. Five minute-long rounds make for a gruelling contest.

There's a return to near-normality with the next event, head-throwing. The competitors here are a strange pair who enjoy removing their heads and throwing them as far as they can. They run down a small track and before reaching the foul throw line they must rip off their heads and pitch them into the distance.

Ideally, the alien cranium should travel upwards at as close to 45` as possible (the angle is shown onscreen) and extra propulsion can be achieved by flapping the ears of the head as it flies. But the head's nose must stick in the ground when it comes to rest, or it's a foul.

There are three throws per contest and the longest throw wins.

Heads are screwed on tightly for the final fantastic event, the metamorph marathon. During this race one of five forms - runner, burrower, jumper, flyer or 'rest state' - can be adopted to suit the terrain, but controlling your speed is crucial, particularly when you're a flyer.

And after this all you'll need is a relaxing Radox bath.

CRITICISM

'The originality of sports like head-throwing is one of the strong points of Galactic Games, and the bother of multiloading makes them no less addictive or fun. All the galactic games are visually attractive, and most are very playable. And though none stands out, the range is wide, including very hard head-to-head contests, fast, simple action and slow methodical events.' PAUL ... 76%

'This is a cute little game with bright characters and some taxing events; some are drawn out for too long but you'll eventually be hooked. The graphics are well-defined and the shading is excellent in some events. Galactic Games is a fun buy for fans of the old Daley Thompson's Decathlon.' NICK ... 54%

'Never before has such humour bounced around the Spectrum - or such aggravation. The graphics are bold, colourful and clear, but the sound is minimal (so I wonder why every event has its own loader - I'm sure two, at least, could share the same ROM). There's no way to bypass an event you don't like, and because all the rules are alien the controls could take some getting used to here on Earth. Still, it's a mixture of good clean fun and frustration, without the ultra-competitiveness of so many games today.' BYM ... 84%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Sinclair
Graphics: many original aliens with humourous animation
Sound: limited spot effects and a few short tunes
General Rating: Galactic Games gives a clever and funny twist to the decathlon format.

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Screenshot Text

Psychic judo stretches the mind in Activision's Galactic Games.

The worms' turn.